Connecting with Linux

  auldburd 16:47 12 Mar 2009

I recently bought a HP netbook (with Linux operating system and Firefox browser), a Belkin wireless router and 3 mobile dongle. After spending two days only being able to get a wired connection through the Belkin, thinking I'd done something wrong in the setup, I phoned their helpline who told me that they don’t support Linux but that there may be some way around this. I’ve had the same response from 3 and HP’s technical support line have been worse than useles.

I’ve since been back and forth between HP and Linux, who assure me that this is an issue with HP (something HP deny before hanging up on you!). They also advised me that Novell are now in charge of Linux and not dealing with any HP related issues.

I've been through absolutely everything I can think of this evening and also tried to find some helpful info, or even start a thread, on the Novell (Linux) website but have failed at every turn.

To your knowledge, is it really possible to get around this or am I going to have to take the router back and look for a suitable Linux friendly alternative or - at worst - buy and install XP or the dreaded Vista?

And in answering, please bear in mind my high IT numpty status.

Cheers, OB

  brundle 17:52 12 Mar 2009

I take it you're not trying to connect to the router via the dongle...
Do wireless networks (your own, and others) show up when you access the wireless management interface ? What version of Linux by the way - Suse?

I'm by no means an expert in Linux but some of the basic wired/wireless networking principles apply no matter what OS.

  brundle 17:54 12 Mar 2009

Is it one of these ? click here
If not can you be a bit more specific, model number for example.

  auldburd 18:05 12 Mar 2009

Its one od these:

click here

It has SUSE Linux and is a brand newmachine so presumably everything is as up to date as it can be.

Other providers are showing up when I search and I have tried to install botht he dongle and the router (though not the dongle TO the router), neither of shich support Linux apparently.

I'd really rather stick with the Linux operating system as its a much better option but the machine is useless to me if I can't connect to the internet.

  brundle 18:08 12 Mar 2009

Yes, I like Linux too, ran Linux Mint for a few months on a borrowed laptop.

Is there any encryption set up on the router?

Does it refuse to connect at all, or ask you for a password?

  Tech Guy 18:08 12 Mar 2009

Does your netbook have built in WiFi?

As your 3 mobile dongle is NOT a wifi dongle and is used to conect to the internet via the 3 mobile phone network NOT to connect to the belkin router!

If your netbook has WiFi built in, it has to be turned on and this can be a problem as Linux is and never has been user friendly.

  auldburd 21:57 12 Mar 2009

I haven't even got as far as connection with the dongle! Linux won't run the dongle's setup wizard

Although I can get a wired connection through the router the minute I detach the wire I lose the connection.

I should be clear - I am absolutely NOT attempting to connect the dongle via the router. The dongle is for use away from home, the router is required for home use.

I don't believe the machine has built in WiFi. It was one of the things I decided could be compromised on when buying.

  Tech Guy 22:20 12 Mar 2009

Although I do love linux in thier many distro's, Suse does lack driver suppport out of the box. You can try Ubuntu, which has more drivers build in.

But in all honesty and as you have "high IT numpty status". I really would advise you to install Windows XP, less heartache all round.

Get your hardware working and as you get used to your netbook (very nice by the way) you can move back to linux (but you prob never will).

Again I do like linux but keep going back to windows for the home computer, Linux is better for a server though (free).

  auldburd 23:15 12 Mar 2009

Thanks TG. I did rather (and sadly) suspect that might be the case but wanted to fight the good fight for Linux.

Any ideas where's best to pick up a copy of XP? I had a quick look online earlier but had those damned pesky motherly duties to attend to this evening so haven't had a chance to investigate further.

From what I could tell XP is being usurped by Vista, which I have on my (for 'my' read 'the children's) desktop. I've hated it from day one and it apparently hates AVG, which is my preferred AV protection. Am I wrong in thinking XP could be tricky to obtain?

  Tech Guy 12:30 13 Mar 2009

Just checked out Ebay and there are plenty selling Windows XP still, around £40 - £50.

I would NOT try ro install vista and just use XP.

If you can get hold of a copy of Windows XP Pro from, say a torrent site. I can send you my old Licence key from an old computer that I don't use anymore.

  auldburd 17:39 14 Mar 2009

Thanks TG, appreciate all the useful advice. I'm in the process of trying to source a XP disc but will also have to get hold of an external drive to load it on to the machine (and hope to God the damn thing recognises the drive!)

Have to say, Currys, who I bought the machine from, have been nothing less than brilliant in their customer service with regard to this and getting me a XP disc. I'll find out on Monday if they've been succesful, if not I'll be heading over to ebay!

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Best phone camera 2017

Stunning new film posters by Hattie Stewart, Joe Cruz & more

iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) review

28 astuces pour profiter au mieux de votre iPhone